Thanks, Jerod! That was a good idea to have Cap saluting Audie.
Join Date: 10.11.2009 Comments: 54
I recently watched a documentary on him and his movie To Hell and Back. Awesome real life hero. Guy was amazing. He made Rambo look like a sissy.
Here's some info from wiki for those that don't know anything about him.
Audie Leon Murphy (June 20, 1924 – May 28, 1971) was a fifth grade dropout from an extremely poor family who became the most decorated American soldier of World War II. After the war he became a celebrated movie star for over two decades, appearing in 44 films. He also found some success as a country music composer.
Murphy became the most decorated United States soldier of the war during twenty-seven months in action in the European Theatre.] He received the Medal of Honor, the U.S. military's highest award for valor, along with 32 additional U.S. and foreign medals and citations,] including five from France and one from Belgium.
Murphy's successful movie career included To Hell and Back (1955), based on his book of the same title (1949) . He died in a plane crash in 1971 and was interred, with full military honors, in Arlington National Cemetery.
Murphy still had to "fight the system" to get overseas and into action. His persistence paid off, and in early 1943 he was shipped out to Casablanca, Morocco as a replacement in 3rd Platoon, Baker Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. Murphy saw no action in Africa, but instead participated in extensive training maneuvers along with the rest of the 3rd Division. His combat initiation finally came when he took part in the invasion of Sicily on July 10, 1943. Shortly after arriving, Murphy was promoted to corporal after killing two Italian officers as they tried to escape on horseback. He contracted malaria while in Sicily, an illness which put him in the hospital several times during his Army years.
After Sicily was secured from Axis forces, the 3rd Division invaded the Italian mainland, landing near Salerno in September 1943. While leading a night patrol, Murphy and his men ran into German soldiers but fought their way out of an ambush, taking cover in a rock quarry. The German command sent a squad of soldiers in, but they were stopped by intense machine-gun and rifle fire. Three German soldiers were killed and several others captured. As a result of his actions at Salerno, Murphy was promoted to sergeant.
Murphy distinguished himself in action on many occasions while in Italy, fighting at the Volturno River, at the Anzio beachhead, and in the cold, wet Italian mountains. While in Italy, his skills as a combat infantryman earned him promotions and decorations for valor.
Following its participation in the Italian campaign, the 3rd Division landed in Southern France on August 15, 1944 as part of Operation Anvil-Dragoon. Shortly thereafter, Murphy's best friend, Lattie Tipton (referred to as "Brandon" in Murphy's book To Hell and Back), was killed by a German soldier in a machine gun nest who was feigning surrender. Murphy went into a rage, and single-handedly wiped out the German machine gun crew which had just killed his friend. He then used the German machine gun and grenades to destroy several other nearby enemy positions. For this act, Murphy received the Distinguished Service Cross (second in precedence only to the Medal of Honor).
During seven weeks of fighting in that campaign in France, Murphy's division suffered 4,500 casualties. Just weeks later, he received two Silver Stars for further heroic actions. Murphy, by now a staff sergeant and holding the position of Platoon Sergeant, was eventually awarded a battlefield commission to second lieutenant, which elevated him to the Platoon Leader position. He was wounded in the hip by a sniper's ricocheting bullet 12 days after the promotion and spent ten weeks recuperating. Within days of returning to his unit, and still bandaged, he became company commander (January 25, 1945), and suffered further wounds from a mortar round which killed two others nearby.
Medal of Honor action
The next day, January 26 (the temperature was 14 °F (−10 °C) with 24 inches (61 cm) of snow on the ground), his unit participated in the battle at Holtzwihr, France. After fighting for some time, Murphy's unit was reduced to an effective strength of 19 out of 128. Murphy sent all of the remaining men to the rear while he shot at the Germans until he ran out of ammunition. He then climbed aboard an abandoned, burning tank destroyer and used its .50 caliber machine gun to cut down the German infantry, including one full squad of German infantry who crawled in a ditch to within 100 feet (30 m) of his position. He was able to call in artillery fire using a land-line telephone and, under heavy fire, was wounded in the leg. He nonetheless continued his nearly single-handed battle for almost an hour. He only stopped fighting when his telephone line to the artillery fire direction center was cut by enemy artillery. As his remaining men moved forward, he quickly organized them into a counter-attack which ultimately drove the enemy from Holtzwihr. For these actions, Murphy was awarded the Medal of Honor.
When asked after the war why he had seized the machine gun and taken on an entire company of German infantry, he replied simply, "They were killing my friends."
Murphy was removed from the front lines and made a liaison officer. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant on February 22, 1945. On June 2, 1945, Lt. Gen. Alexander Patch, commander of the US Seventh Army, presented him with the Medal of Honor and Legion of Merit. The Legion of Merit was given him for meritorious service with the 3rd Infantry Division in France from January 22 to February 18, 1945. On June 10, Murphy left Paris by plane and arrived in San Antonio, Texas four days later.
Murphy was awarded 33 U.S. medals, five medals by France, and one from Belgium. He received every U.S. medal available at the time. He earned the Silver Star twice in three days, three Purple Hearts, the Distinguished Service Cross, and the Medal of Honor